sat 15/12/2018

Moscow

Panorama: Putin's Russia with David Dimbleby, BBC One review - jolly football weather

There was a lovely moment at the beginning of this Panorama where David Dimbleby was chatting to a schoolgirl – not just any schoolgirl actually, because she came from a family of 10 children, which surely makes her a bit out of the ordinary, even...

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McMafia, Series finale, BBC One review - the last bite is the cruellest

McMafia has taught us to recognise one thing – you might call it the “Norton stride”. As the charismatic Alex Godman, James Norton has been advancing, confidently at screen centre, towards one challenge after another, and they have been coming (...

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Bruno Maçães: The Dawn of Eurasia review - middle of nowhere

Part travelogue and part broad analysis of the current and future challenges facing the EU, the premise of Bruno Maçães’s new book The Dawn of Eurasia is to “use travel to provide an injection of reality of political, economic and historical...

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McMafia, BBC One review - James Norton looks promising in a murky le Carré world

It’s not the first time that James Norton has kicked off BBC One’s New Year primetime celebrations in Russian style. Two years ago, he was costumed up as the courageous Prince Andrei, in illustrious ensemble company for Andrew Davies and Tom Harper’...

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Storyville: Toffs, Queers and Traitors, BBC Four review - the spy who was a scamp

“There is something odd, I suppose, about anyone who betrays their country.” It’s an excellent opening line, particularly when delivered in director George Carey’s nicely querulous narrative voice, for Toffs, Queers and Traitors (BBC Four). He...

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Prom 29 review: BBCSO, Bychkov - Musorgsky's Khovanshchina sears in concert

"Ura!" as soldiers cry in Russian epic opera's last fling, Prokofiev's War and Peace: supertitles have arrived at the Proms, after much special pleading here and elsewhere. They're needed more than ever in Musorgsky's typically quirky survey of...

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Three Sisters, Sovremennik review - over-conscious of its legendariness

Sovremennik is Russian for “contemporary”, and ever since its founding in the Soviet Union's 1950s Thaw, Moscow’s Sovremennik Theatre company has lived by the idea that it expresses new, fresh breath in Russian theatre. Unless you argue...

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Russia and the Arts, National Portrait Gallery

A good half of the portraits in Russia and the Arts are of figures without whom any conception of 19th century European culture would be incomplete. A felicitous subtitle, “The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky”, provides a natural, even easy point of...

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Bolshoi Babylon, BBC Four

Here’s a paradox. Just as the words “new Cold War” were beginning to form on the lips of political commentators in the West, two British film-makers, former TV newsmen no less, were being granted uncensored access to the Bolshoi Theatre – just 500...

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War and Peace, BBC One

So, Andrew Davies has bitten off the big one. It may have come as a surprise to some that the master of adapting the British classics for television hadn’t read Tolstoy’s classic-to-end-all-classics until the BBC mooted the idea of a new screen...

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Bolshoi Ballet acid attack leader loses his job

Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi Ballet artistic director whose sight was maimed two years ago by an acid attack organized by a disgruntled dancer, will lose his job when his contract expires next spring. Bolshoi Theatre chief Vladimir Urin announced...

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Q&A Special: Pianist Lucas Debargue

Last week the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow was rung down with a sigh of relief for the home team, with once again a Russian pianist in possession of the gold medal, Dmitry Masleev following 2011’s Daniil Trifonov. It was all...

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